Following an acrimonious bifurcation, the chasm only seems to be widening

It has been a little over three weeks since Telangana came into being and popular governments were put in place in that State as well as neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

There is growing acrimony between the two States and disagreement over sharing of assets such as water, power and human resources, and on inter-state projects such as Polavaram.

There is also disagreement on the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act. Every time an issue crops up, it reaches the Centre, even in subjects whose the jurisdiction is with the State, such as power.

The Secretariat has been bifurcated. The administrative set-ups have different entrances and there is restriction on movement.

A routine decision taken at the administrative level to allocate 10 tmc of water to Krishna delta in the Seemandhra region was turned down by the new Telangana Government.

Andhra Pradesh was quick to react — it decided to scrap draft power purchase agreements (PPAs) entered into with various distribution companies (discoms), citing that there isn’t enough power to share with its neighbour.

While the Centre has come out with a broad power sharing formula for the two States, AP has unilaterally decided to scrap PPAs with discoms.

This has far-reaching impact. While Telangana will be short of power, AP is dependent on coal supplies from Singareni Collieries Company, located in Telangana, for its thermal plants.

The scrapping of PPAs should not be done without involving the power regulator and others in the system, including Southern Regional Dispatch Centre, Bangalore. Such a unilateral decision can destabilise the regional grid that wanted the status quo maintained. A senior official in AP said the State’s stand to scrap PPAs is final and it has been communicated to its counterparts.

Problem of Polavaram

The multi-purpose Polavaram project continues to be a tough problem. Both the Legislative Assemblies have passed resolutions on the project, each with a firm, distinct stand.

While the Telangana Government wants design changes and has expressed concern about the transfer of some villages to AP and the submergence of certain mandals, AP has passed a resolution seeking its implementation within three years.

Both the States have sought a new water sharing methodology for Krishna and Godavari .

Even the issue of sharing of 10 tmc of water between the two States took over a week to resolve and went through only after the intervention of the Central Water Commission. Late on Tuesday, it was decided to release 3.5 tmc to Krishna delta over seven days.

Apart from these broader issues, there are more at the operational level.

Sharing/allocation of human resources and deciding the jurisdiction in some cases, are among these. The High Court has sought clarity on its jurisdiction.

As things stand, these differences only look set to widen.

Both the Chief Ministers are seeking Delhi’s help to address their concerns.

(This article was published on June 25, 2014)
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